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March 22, 2010 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Sir Ian Axford 1933—2010

News

Sir Ian Axford, former Victoria Vice-Chancellor and world renowned scientist, died at his Napier home last week.

Axford was Vice-Chancellor from 1982 to 1985.

Current Vice-Chancellor Pat Walsh says Axford “will be greatly missed with the university and the wider scientific community in New Zealand and overseas”.

Axford played a major role in the planning and building of Te Herenga Waka, the university’s Marae.

Axford was the first chairman of the Marsden Fund Council from 1994 to 1998. The Marsden Fund is a contestable fund for fundamental research, which is administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand on behalf of the government. Last year it awarded research grants totalling $66 million.

In 1993 he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand while working at the Max-Planck Institute of Aeronomy in Germany.

In 1994 he was awarded New Zealand’s top science honour, the Rutherford Medal, by the Royal Society of New Zealand. The award was given “for his excellent contribution to fundamental research which has led to a deeper understanding of the nature of planetary magnetospheres, comets, interplanetary space, the behaviour of interstellar gas and the origin of cosmic rays”.

Sir Ian was named New Zealander of the Year in 1995.

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